Discovering The Armor
Note: This post is part of a series exploring Life Unity through various principles - including masculinity and femininity. See here for more information.
A big catalyst in this awakening towards masculine and feminine principles took place while reading a book suggested by some friends. The Dance of the Dissident Daughter by Sue Monk Kidd is subtitled, "A woman's journey from Christian tradition to the sacred feminine". To be honest, it is not a book I normally would have read.
But it was at the library. Which means it was free. Knowledge for free? Yeah...why not!
And it is often those "why not"s that lead to life's most interesting discoveries.
At the beginning of the book, the author tells of her times of being a more subservient wife, following very traditional female roles, growing up surrounded by male role-models. All I could think is that's not me.
Because it isn't.
I grew up in a very supportive household, have had female bosses (and role-models) at 90% of the places I've been employed, and am far more assertive than my husband. (Love you dear.)
But something about this recognition kept sticking with me, kind of like those thoughts that stick with you as you wonder if you locked the door after you've left the house...and you know you did....but now you are not so sure...
One night while trying to fall asleep, a recognition just dropped into my thoughts.
I am unity
inside of male armor
inside of a female body
inside a male world
inside a female universe
What in the world does one do with that? Why, what else but art??
What Is This Male/Female Form Stuff?
First, to clarify: The idea of the male armor is the adaptation I have made to fit and "succeed" in this world of male structure. The armor is the masculine principles that have hardened into my truths. Logic and assertiveness are key factors in fitting into masculine structures of the world. I learned both well and therefore, despite possible barriers because of feminine form, found success through education and career.
But this armor was blocking me from embracing not only the feminine principles of vulnerability, acceptance, and love that were also part of me, but blocking me from re-membering how all of these masculine and feminine principles could flow together.
The female form? That one is pretty obvious (I hope). But I also want to assert here: Feminine and masculine principles are not the same as biological sex. Culture may associate and thus link the two, but we all possess both feminine and masculine principles within. More on that later.
The male world? Masculine principles rule the world in which I live. Form, hierarchies, physical wealth, assertiveness and aggression all are seen as desirable while creativity, humbleness, uncertainty, receptivity, and passivity are seen as less desirable or even weaknesses.
The female universe? Space, expansion, openness.
And unity. What is, is. This is beyond even conceptual principles of masculine and feminine.
This painting took forever. It went through several forms. I knew the basic concept I wanted - to express the idea of the unity/male armor/female body/male world concept...but kept hearing different voices regarding the painting - the colors in particular.
Here is the progress of it:
And here is the final version:
I could comment on all of the various stages, why I chose the colors and shapes that I did, and why I ended up changing it...but I think that it might be best to let each one speak to you.
Find what you need in these paintings. Listen to whatever voice inside of you responds when my creative voice calls out....what that voice is saying.
Take just a few minutes to reflect upon it. Hey, you're here...this could be life-changing stuff....it's free....